Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Some thoughts on all of this

A week ago I started this blog on a whim.

I hadn't planned anything at all - no name, no posts, nothing. I had and still have a head full of ideas about what I want to do but decided to follow Flylady and just jump in.

The main reason that I pressed the create blog button late last Tuesday evening was to see if I could do and prove to myself that I don't need to ask my computer-addict boyfriend about everything connected with a computer.
It is really fun to see my own blog online and also amazingly easy to do.

Another reason for doing this now is I've finally decided to give my film camera a rest and go digital. This was a very difficult decision for me as I really like my Olympus and it's not so old but I wanted all the advantages of digital and especially to be able to send my photos by email.

I've always enjoyed photography and love being able to snap away without having to wait to finish my film and take it to be developed before getting the results. It's also great not to have to worry about wasting money on photos that don't turn out, especially with my monkeys who can't stay still for a second.

I feel like I'm blundering about with this blog and haven't found my style yet. Last night I wondered if I should just delete everything and forget about it but I'm not going to. I've enjoyed the feedback I've received so far and will keep at it. Rome wasn't built in a day and I can't expect my blog to build itself.

I'll come back to my feelings about blogging another time.

Before I go I want to show you how much the monkeys have grown!!!

They've started playing together!!!

Yann discovered this game at his playgroup yesterday morning and didn't want to stop playing - he kept running back into the building to play more when the hour was over. So Katja (course facillitator) let him borrow it for the week.
Both children love it. They sit together and co-operate! No fighting over pieces! The hand each other pegs and help each other to pick up any that fall down! Charlotte praises Yann all the time and tells him how clever he is and how much she likes him!
They even played together at the playground this morning. Instead of complaining and wanting the swing that Yann was on, Charlotte pushed him and played around with him.

This is a major breakthrough and today was probably the most relaxed since Yann was born. I'm so happy about it.

Look how happy he is now:

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Menu Plan Monday - Oct 29th

My in-laws were here for the weekend so I didn't have any time to write but did a lot of cooking.

On Thursday morning I was out shopping and at the bottom of the ramp up to the drugstore I saw a box with a help yourself sign sticking out of it. My first thought was that I've managed to declutter so much and don't want anything new in my flat so I shouldn't look. My second thought was that it probably just contained a few mildewy old books and/or chipped cups so I didn't need to look. I couldn't stop the collector in me looking in though - imagine my suprise to find that it was full of Martha Stewart Living magazines, fairly recent and in mint condition!!! (Bear in mind that I live in Germany.)

I managed to fit all the magazines under the pushchair and spent Thursday longing to lie on my bed and start reading. I've been flicking through them with pleasure at odd moments since then.

I don't even have to feel guilty about extra clutter because my dear friend Bettina wants to read them after me.

I'm sure that they'll give me loads of ideas for meals in the next weeks. The best thing we ate this weekend was a spontaneous experiment based on something I'd seen in one. I'm not sure where I saw it and it wasn't a real recipe in the magazine, just a hint. Unfortunately I didn't take a photo - it looked really pretty, but I'll make it again soon and next time get my camera out.

We were all too full of birthday lemon cheesecake to want my planned meal but I wanted to put something on the table and this was a great success.

I don't know how it was described in the magazine but I can call it "quick savoury tartlets". This is what I did. I took twelve pieces of sliced white bread, cut the crusts off and pressed them a flat as I could with my rolling pin. Then I placed the slices into the moulds of my muffin tin and put them in the oven at 180 degree Celsius = 356 degree Fahrenheit while I prepared the filling (maybe 10 minutes?).
I chopped 12 cherry tomatoes, sliced 12 stuffed olives and crumbled a bit of feta cheese and mixed with olive oil, tzatziki spice mix, rosmary and thyme.
My plan was to bake the filling as well but I worried that the bread might burn so just put it cold into the bread cases and served it like that.

I will definitely make these for a starter the next time we have visitors.

Here's my menu for this week

MONDAY Baked potatoes with hummus, salad, cottage cheese...

TUESDAY Potato, leek and mushroom bake with broccoli

WEDNESDAY Vegetable couscous (left-overs from the weekend)

THURSDAY Vegetable soup (from the freezer)

FRIDAY Savoury waffles

SATURDAY Nut roast (so I can make double mixture and freeze half for Christmastime) with red cabbage and lots of veggies

SUNDAY Pasta with vegetarian bolognese sauce.

I hope that the little monkeys will at least try a bit of everything.

Friday, October 26, 2007

frugal friday

Nearly two years ago, a few months before my son was born, I decided to test the very strange looking soapnuts from my local organic shop.

The whole idea seemed really strange to me but I thought I had nothing to lose and that it would be good or the children.

Anyway, it was a wonderful decision. I'm so impressed by the nuts.

They get my washing clean, they don't have any irritating smell and are
SO cheap. I buy them in 500g packets and one packet lasts for months. Before that I was buying an expensive bottle of unperfumed washing liquid about once every ten days.

I've only used them in my washing machine but you can apparently also but them in the dishwasher or boil them to make an all-round cleaner. I want to try this soon.

I can only recommend soapnuts - good for your purse, your family and the environment.

Please check this site www.inasoapnutshell.com or google soapnut for more information.

I hope this suggestion is useful to someone. Please let me know what you think of it.

Wishing you a nice day xxx

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Here are the monkeys

I think they're lovely.

They had a bouncy day.

Yann spent the morning playing football and chasing himself about the flat while Charlotte was at kindergarten.

We went to sport for kids in the afternoon and they exhausted themselves on the trampoline and slide.

More from the monkey house soon.